Elder Care Negligence - ($2.6 million)
In this landmark decision, the Washington State Court of Appeals addressed the issue of negligent case management by a government social worker. Jay Caulfield suffered from multiple sclerosis and required twenty-four-hour care. The jury determined that a government social worker owes a duty of reasonable care to protect her disabled client from foreseeable harm. Here, Mr. Caulfield was abandoned by the social workers assigned to protect him, leading to severe and life-threatening injuries, including several Class IV bedsores that cut through to his bones. The jury returned a verdict for more than $2.6 million. The entire verdict was upheld on appeal. Caulfield v. Kitsap County & DSHS, 108 Wn. App. 242 (2001).